THE Aquino administration has declared as non-negotiable the relocation of some 20,000 non-formal settler families living along metro Manila’s waterways by the end of this year, and of 100,000 others by the end of Mr. Aquino’s term in 2016.

The decision comes in the aftermath of the floods in metro Manila last week which caused schools and offices to shut down in some areas, and caused horrendous traffic jams, for the severity of which the informal settler families living along metro Manila waterways have been blamed. Blaming the families for the severity of the floods, they being the alleged source of the garbage that chokes esteros and river systems, was the Metro Manila Development Authority’s and Department of Public Works’ mantra last week. But that has since become less of an official reason for the planned and ongoing relocations than the claim that it’s for the families’ own safety and welfare.

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